By Senabri Silvestre
SANTO DOMINGO, Dom. Rep. (AA) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reiterated her innocence before the Senate she accuses of preparing a “coup” that would choose a “usurper government” indirectly, local media said Monday.
“The accusations are pretexts, only pretexts to break down through charges of a crime of responsibility a legitimate government elected with the direct participation of 110 million Brazilians,” Rousseff said during her own defense presentation.
The suspended president made her case in the last hearing session of a political trial against her for allegedly violating fiscal rules to hide a budget deficit ahead of the 2014 presidential elections.
“Do not expect the obsequious silence against the cowards … seeking to undermine democracy and the rule of law with legal rhetoric,” she added in her speech posted by O Globo newspaper.
One irregularity attributed to the president is that she issued various credit decrees without congressional authorization but Roussed insisted she “would never do or practice anything contrary to the interests of those who chose her” in the 2014 elections.
She appealed to lawmakers’ conscience by reviewing her political career and her years in prison when she was involved with groups fighting against a dictatorship in the early 1970s.
“Today there is no illegal detention, no torture, my judges came here for the same popular vote I led to the presidency … but I keep looking at them with my head up and suffering again with the feeling of injustice and suspicion from democracy is betrayed”, she said.
Rousseff attempted her defense`s presentation accompanied by former president and mentor Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva.
She is also accused of delaying public payments in 2014 and 2015 in order to use the funds to support the government´s social program, in violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Law.
The charges against Rousseff are “crimes of responsibility” and not criminal but administrative sanctions that could strip her from her post if 54 of a total of 81 senators vote in favor of her removal.
Her dismissal appears imminent, however, considering 51 senators indicated in a poll on the eve of the start of the trial that they would vote in favor for removal.
If the actions pass, interim President Michel Temer would remain in his position until elections are held in 2018 -- the end of Rousseff’s term.
If she survives, Rousseff would retain her position and Temer would go back to his post as vice president.
The Senate will vote on her fate later this week.